Thursday, April 08, 2004

It's depressing that I only ever get involved in a discussion on the Poetics list when something really horrible gets said. It's even more depressing that I've felt I had to do it several times in the past few months.

I'd visited the archive, actually, to do something constructive, which was post a few references on confessional poetry, a discussion of which has been going on at the list the past day or two. But what I came upon was this post, which was passing itself off as an argument that "It is mostly those with relatively privileged positions in the social hierarchy who denigrate confession," but did so in such an ugly way that I can only think the author was writing in bad faith.

Here's what I wrote in response; in part:

I'm really disturbed by Andrew Loewen's post, which purports to show how a critique of confessionalism is the province of the privileged, but does so by employing misogynist terms of abuse and leaning weirdly on images of Asians who are either degraded ("strung out Filipino crack whores"?!) or objects of implied violence ("When I forced South Korean adolescents...under video surveillance..."), which makes it hard to believe that he takes his own criticism seriously, or that he has much sympathy for the supposedly less privileged position of the woman or the Asian.

Of course, my pained critique was done one better by Eileen Tabios, who posted her own email-never-sent in response: I hope you left a large tip.

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